Alimosho… … The Dividends Of Fashola’s Democracy

By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor

A section of Ayobo-Ipaja road after a recent rainfall this year.

A section of Ayobo-Ipaja road after a recent rainfall this year.


IF Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, spares some moments out of his busy schedule to read the letters and opinion pages of the dailies in the last few weeks, he would have been sufficiently embarrassed by the persistent grievous cries of residents of a certain section of the state.
The deafening trumpet being sounded by residents of Ejigbo, Ikotun, Ijegun, Idimu, Ipaja and Ayobo, is why the governor has decided to forsake millions of taxpayers in the Lagos West axis of the state known as Alimosho.
Governance in these areas is only felt by half-hearted attempts to remedy an apparent neglect with uncompleted and never-ending projects. The orchestrated infrastructural wonders of Fashola in Surulere, Ikeja, Victoria Island and elsewhere are lacking in the Isolo-Ejigbo-Ikotun axis where, for instance, the government has been building the about 10 kilometers road between Isheri Oshun and Jakande Estate for well over a decade.
Spokesman of the residents’ association, Chief Adisa Akiode, said residents of Ikotun, Ejigbo, Isheri-Oshun and Ijegun have shouted themselves hoarse over the state government’s inability to fix the road, which was started several years ago.
He said residents literally “pass through hell” to conduct their businesses in other parts of the state due to the poor condition of the road. He wondered what they had done to deserve such punishment even though they had always voted for the ruling party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
“For over six years now, we have not seen any government presence in form of construction of ordinary culverts in this area. The only respite we got recently was the rehabilitation of the ever-busy road, which leads to the NNPC depot from Jakande Gate, and that was after across many confrontations between the Federal Government and the contractor over non-release of funds,” Akiode said.
A bad spot on the Orilowo-Idimu road, Ejigbo.

A bad spot on the Orilowo-Idimu road, Ejigbo.

Another resident of the area, Uzodinma Nwaogbe, told The Guardian that in the build-up to the 2011 elections, Fashola pledged that the roads in the area would be taken seriously.
During the campaigns, the rains came down heavy and the people of Isheri-Oshun and its environs were told to be patient till after the rains as no road can endure rehabilitation during the period. Two years after, the waiting game still continues.
“There is no day vehicles do not break down on these roads, a situation that has necessitated private car owners to park their vehicles at home and go in public transport to take them to their destinations. Sometimes, they park their cars at Jakande Gate bus stop.
Many visitors plying this road complain of the effect of the thick dust, which worsen the people’s hardship and complicate their health problems but they are yet to see the worst of the road, which paralyzes movement during the rainy season. Residents were completely cut-off from the rest of the state within the period the flood lasted last year.”
The road is strategic and would be a huge relief to many Lagosians who ply it daily. The road, when completed, would help decongest traffic along Okota–Cele bus stop, as some would prefer to link Ago Palace Way, Mile 2 and Festac Town through Bucknor and Ijegun ends.

Stalemate at the Oke Afa-Ajao Estate link bridge.

Stalemate at the Oke Afa-Ajao Estate link bridge.


The locked gate denying access to link the bridge from Ejigbo to Isolo.

The locked gate denying access to link the bridge from Ejigbo to Isolo.

LAST week, the state government in a newspaper advertisement titled A New Lagos: Roads and Public Building, listed nine projects, none of which is from the densely populated Alimosho area. Projects flaunted in the new Lagos include Lekki-Ikoyi Cable Bridge, Ibeshe road in Ikorodu, Lagos-Badagry expressway and Marina Shoreline Reclamation in Badagry. Others are ongoing reconstruction of Tejuosho Market, Yaba; Langbasa Road, Eti-Osa; Ipakodo Jetty, Ikorodu; Isopakodowo Market, Oshodi; and Ago Palace Way, Okota.
Quoting from last week’s Backlash, a column in The Guardian on Sunday titled The Fashola Façade, “the connecting road between Orilowo-Ejigbo and Idimu is an ideal location for a Gulder Ultimate Search. The contractor in charge of the road uses shovels, head pans and diggers to work the side drainages.
“The Oke Afa-Ajao Estate link-bridge, intended to ease pressure on the Isolo-Ikotun Road, the sole traffic artery in that area, is taking forever to fix. In fact, much of the expansive Alimosho local government that gave the votes that put and returned Fashola to office is completely lost on the governor’s infrastructural radar.”
Work commenced on the Oke-Afa–Ajao Estate link bridge in 2011 and is already at an advanced stage, but it appears to have met a brick wall at the Ajao Estate end of the project, where contractors are at a loss about how to proceed with the demolition of structures on the Right-of-Way (RoW).
This stalemate may have informed the recent decision of the Christian community in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to organize a prayer session for the completion of the project.
The Christian community under the platform of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ejigbo chapter, made prayer requests and also appealed to the governor to ensure the completion of the bridge despite protest by some residents of Ajao Estate to discontinue the project.

Another stalled project at the Jakande Estate-Isheri Oshun road

Another stalled project at the Jakande Estate-Isheri Oshun road


THE misery of residents and road users of Ayobo Ipaja road is as old as the fourth republic. They have also resorted to spiritual intervention after the avalanche of promises made by the former governor, Bola Tinubu and the incumbent failed to offer respite.
Fashola, who visited the area recently to flag off the polio immunization campaign, pleaded with residents of the area to be patient with the state governor, noting that issues, which are beyond what the construction firm, PLYCON Nigeria Limited, could handle had delayed its completion.
Some of the contending issues that had slowed down the project is the relocation of some Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) poles, gas and oil pipelines, which run across the area.
With the pain residents of Alimosho daily go through plying dilapidated major access roads, the state of the inner roads are better imagined than experienced in the Centre of Excellence.

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Isolo General Hospital mortuary: At last, respite for residents

By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor
ISOLO General Hospital comfortably stands out among first-rate secondary health care facilities in Lagos State. From the main gate into the expansive compound, its ambience, which could be mistaken for a university teaching hospital, is inviting to any visitor.

The sour point of this beautiful hospital, however, is the deplorable condition of the mortuary, which the state government last week announced would be shut on Tuesday, March 26 in the interest of public health.

Long before the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, announced the closure of the mortuary, there had been complaints by residents of Isolo, who have for years endured a poignant odour oozing out of the premises of the General Hospital.

At first, the source of the odour was suspect due to the imposing dumpsite and hyacinth-covered Oke-Afa canal, located a few metres to the hospital, but this was given away by the whiff oozing from the building housing the morgue, which is isolated at a far corner in the hospital.

While management and staffers of the General Hospital have kept mum over the state of the mortuary, which had for years been an eyesore, citing a new rule in the state, which forbids officials from speaking with the press without official clearance, it has been a subdued relief for residents, who are already counting down to the March 26 deadline.
Isolo
Uchendu Kingsley is happy that, at last, government has seen reason to prevent environmental pollution and health hazards to passers-by and Isolo residents by closing the facility.

“There have been several interventions to bring this to the notice of government and personally, I wrote an open letter to the governor in July 2011, which was published by the media on the deplorable state of the mortuary.”

“When the governor visited the hospital last year to commission the Maternal and Childcare Centre, the community leaders also brought the matter to the fore and he promised to redress the situation.

“We are, therefore, pleased with this decision of government though I don’t see any reason there can’t be a lasting solution to prevent the decomposing corpses from polluting the environment.

“Maintaining a mortuary is not rocket science, if the necessary equipment are in place,” he said.

A mortuary attendant, who did not want his name mentioned, told The Guardian that a new mortuary was under construction, which when completed, would be operated under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

“It would be under the care of a woman, who is at present managing the mortuary at Ikeja and at Mainland Hospital, IDH, Yaba.”

Explaining the reason for the nauseating smell of the mortuary, the attendant attributed the cause of the odour to abandoned corpses dumped at the mortuary. “Many of the bodies picked on the streets by policemen, especially armed robbers and victims of hit-and-run drivers are brought in here, sometimes in a decomposing state. We cannot, therefore, lump them together with bodies transferred from the hospital or kept here by the deceased relatives.”

Dr. Jide Idris, Lagos State Commissioner for Health

Dr. Jide Idris, Lagos State Commissioner for Health


In life and in death, there is hierarchy. So, at the general hospital, the priority is to attend to those whose corpse would be paid for, while the unclaimed bodies are lumped in the ante-room, which explains the odour that has got residents worried.

While preferential treatment is given to bodies duly registered and accounted for by relatives, unclaimed bodies are not adequately preserved by the hospital. Worse still, there is no use for them, as they cannot be torn open by medical students as cadavers, since it is not a teaching hospital.

A provision has already been made for unclaimed bodies at the Mainland General Hospital, Yaba. This was contained in the statement made by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who said the recently renovated mortuary has been designated a Social Responsibility Centre, which would receive and accommodate only some categories of bodies.

Available mortuaries in Lagos are Gbagada General Hospital, General Hospital Lagos, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos Island General Hospital, Ikorodu General Hospital, Epe General Hospital and a few private morgues.

With the current population of Lagos put at about 20.19 million, the number of available mortuaries is a far cry from what would be required in the emerging mega-city. When The Guardian visited the about-to-be-closed mortuary at Isolo, there were over 500 bodies yet to be claimed by relatives, while those categorized as abandoned had been hauled away in a van to Mainland General Hospital, Yaba.

An ambulance driver at the hospital, who had been rendered jobless by this latest directive, Mr. Michael Adekoya, said government should reduce the money charged by the hospitals for the use of the mortuary. He also wants private individuals to invest in building private morgues to break the monopoly of government in the business.

“By the grace of God, I am planning to establish a private facility in my hometown in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State because I love the job. It pays to care for the dead and it is a lucrative business abroad. Many of our countrymen who travel abroad go there to wash corpses, why should they be ashamed of doing it at home. There is nothing special about having private morgues; it is not as complex as building a refinery.”

“The money charged by Lagos State Government is too high. Their mortuaries collect as high as N45, 000 to N50, 000, with a daily sleeping allowance of N1,000. Last week, I took a corpse to Owerri. The man died at night and the next morning the body was on its way to Owerri. I was surprised that the mortuary there only collected N5,000 with a daily sleeping allowance of N200. No wonder, most people prefer to take their dead back home away from Lagos, where everything is expensive,” he said.

For Adekoya, he loves his job and he is not in it for the money. “My joy is offering assistance to the bereaved and the dead. We should learn to care for ourselves, whether dead or alive. And I am proud to do this in my country and not in a white man’s land.”

Tips On Transacting Business With Genuine Real Estate Agents

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Company Registration And Official Website

Every genuine and qualified estate agent must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. There must be a registered company/brand name with a verified company registration number. Do not preferably deal with individuals. All genuine real estate firms are happy to publish and provide you with their registration number at any given time.
Every genuine and qualified company must provide you with their official registration number upon request. You can verify the company Reg. Number by visiting the CAC office in Abuja or http://www.cac.gov.ng. All these must be done prior to payment.

Communication

ALL related communications must be conveyed through the company’s registered communication points. Ensure that your email communication is being conveyed through the company/brand name. Do not communicate/send and receive emails from any agent using a free email account such as yahoo, gmail, hotmail, etc. Insist on using his/her company email account.
Every genuine and qualified real estate firm must operate with an active official phone number (landline/table phone). You can verify this from their official website. Please, be wary of real estate agents operating with only mobile phones. There must be an office contact phone. Although there could be personal/private contact numbers between the workers but ensure you initiate first phone communication through the company office phone.

Standard Office

MOST fake agents do not have a qualified and conducive office. Ensure that you engage most of your related communications in the company’s office. Avoid meeting with an agent in a restaurant. Ensure that you are at the right office and not in a connived environment. Ensure that the office address you visited is the same as the address listed on their official website.
A genuine and qualified real estate agent does not incorporate or attach his career to a different profession. For example, some offices placed on the website or advertised in a magazine might finally turn out to be a shoe selling shop. Some could even be a legal office. However, some lawyers engage themselves in estate management because they have some specific services to render in estate transactions.

Document Verification And Authentication

YOU must hire a trusted lawyer to handle all your real estate documentations and verifications. Also, the lawyer can as well verify the legitimacy and authenticity of the real estate agency. There are some required documents to be ascertained and verified prior to payment. Although it might cost you some money hiring a lawyer, but prevention is better than cure.

Seller/Buyer Agreement

A genuine real estate agent must provide you with Buyer/Seller Agreement prior to any transaction. This is an official agreement between the agent and the Buyer/Seller. The commission, and other necessary information about the transaction must be outlined and agreed together by the parties involved prior to payment and concluding any transaction.

Payment

THE payment could be made into the agent’s or property owner’s bank account as agreed on the Buyer/Seller Deed. Of course, the agent’s account holder’s name must be his company/brand name. Please, insist that, at least, the commission be paid into the agent’s official company account. Fake agents hardly operate with company account. You can never lose your money while dealing with genuine agents and refund is guaranteed should anything go wrong in the transaction.

Courtesy Chuks Realtors Ltd, Abuja 
http://www.chuksrealtors.com

Lagosians’ Ordeal Putting Roof Over Their Heads

• How Landlords Exploit Ineffective Tenancy Law
By TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA,
Assistant Lagos-City Editor
Lag 1
It’s already 18 months since the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, signed the Tenancy Bill into law. However, to some Lagosians, the law has not made the required positive impact on tenants in the state. They told The Guardian in separate interviews that the law had not achieved its objective of alleviating their sufferings from landlords.
The law prohibited a landlord from demanding or receiving rents in excess of six months from a sitting tenant paying monthly and one year rent from a tenant paying yearly, irrespective of the nature of the tenancy held.
One area of contention is the restrictive application of the law. Apapa, Ikeja GRA, Ikoyi and Victoria Island are exempted from the application of this law. The rationale behind the exemption appears to be that tenants in these areas are predominantly corporate bodies and high net worth individuals. The assumption is that these categories of tenants are better able to define the terms of their tenancy with their respective landlords.
Mr. Yusuf Bolaji, a resident of Okota, said he was made to pay two years’ rent with high commissions to secure his new apartment. “Three of us were negotiating to rent the place; it would be stupid of me to offer to pay one year rent when the two others were ready to offer more,” he said.
“Some people were lucky to meet law-abiding landlords that accepted one year rent, but not all the landlords are complying with the law and it is frustrating securing a decent accommodation without dancing to the tune of the ‘almighty’ landlords.”
A prospective tenant in Surulere area, Femi Olayinka, also noted that the tenancy law has not made the much-needed impact. “I have been trying to settle down with my fiancée for months now, but this is being delayed due to my inability to secure an apartment. The landlords I have been meeting are not complying with the law and this is limiting my choice of where to stay,” he said.
In Agege, a prospective tenant simply named Okechukwu, was shown a two-bedroom flat, but after paying, he was given keys to a self-contained one-room apartment by the agent with the explanation that the two-bedroom flat had been taken.
“After three weeks of dragging the matter back and forth, I was advised even by the policemen, who I reported the case to, to take the available flat offered me or forfeit my money. I discovered that my money was trapped because the agent will refund some and withhold a certain amount, while about 15 percent of it was being demanded by the police for intervening in the matter,” he said.
The above scenario is the picture of what prospective tenants go through. But this is just a tip of the iceberg compared to what sitting tenants endure from some landlords for fear of eviction notice.
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A man was recently given a quit notice because his landlord does not want a married man in his house. The young man travelled to his home state for Christmas and came back with a wife. After introducing her to his landlord, he received his congratulations accompanied with a verbal eviction notice.
The newly wedded sought the assistance of some elders in the neighbourhood before they were allowed access to their apartment, however, with a condition that they would vacate the house at the expiration of their rent later in the year.
In Itire area of Lagos, a landlady opened a bank account late last year and instructed each tenant to pay N5,000 monthly for electricity bill, which none of the tenants had set eyes on. When the tenants requested to see the current PHCN bill, the landlady responded with a quit notice and threats to disconnect them from power supply.
Sitting tenants in Lagos go through a lot to keep their tenancy and the situation is not better with the introduction of the tenancy law. Prospective tenants, in their desperation, accept all manners of conditions, some written and many others unwritten.
The fear of quit notice is enough for tenants to forgo a lot of things that ordinarily should be demanded for. Many ascribe the exploitation of tenants to the scarcity of accommodation, which makes demand to surpass supply.
Some landlords have devised a method around the provisions of the tenancy law. They have jacked up the rents of sitting tenants by over 50 percent to compensate for the six-month rent they are allowed to collect by law. They collect rent of a year and six months from prospective tenants but issue receipt for a year, or collect a year’s rent and three months into the tenancy, request a six-month rent.
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A visit to the Citizens’ Mediation Centre, an arm of Lagos State Ministry of Justice, which handles landlords/tenants matters through mediation, did not produce any result. The director was unavailable at the centre at Motorways, Alausa. An information officer in the establishment ‘reminded’ The Guardian about the new rule in the state, which forbids officials from speaking with the press without clearance.
In a bid, however, to bring respite to affected Lagosians, the Landlord-Tenant Dispute Mediation Centre, Ojota, has promised to eradicate the problem of unlawful ejection and other forms of maltreatment of tenants by landlords and their agents in Lagos State.
The centre was established in 2008 by public-spirited lawyers for the purpose of promoting amicable settlement of tenancy disputes. In a chat with The Guardian, the national coordinator of the centre, Mr. Abali O. Abali, said the NGO is out to ensure both landlords and tenants abide by the contractual relationship between them.
According to him: “It is the practice by some landlords to secure a court injunction, using Jankara method to eject a tenant and recover their premises. Some tenants are very ignorant of court proceedings and usually don’t know how to act when confronted with such situations. This was why we came up with the idea of the NGO, basically to protect tenant’s rights. We also stand in for landlords when the situation arises.
“Some tenants would be given a seven-day quit notice when the proper six-months notice had not even be served. The centre has had to take up issues with lawyers, who indulge in such unethical practices. You can’t because of the money a landlord will give you as a lawyer and go ahead to carry out unlawful instruction without educating your clients.
Abali said there are also situations, which are so rampant, where a landlord sells a property without informing the tenants and the new property owner would simply issue the tenants notices to quit in days. “When we get such cases, we don’t waste time; we immediately file for an injunction, restraining the new landlord from taking possession until the six months stipulated by the law is observed,” he said.

Mr. Abali O. Abali, Coordinator of the Landlord-Tenant Dispute Mediation Centre, Ojota,

Mr. Abali O. Abali, Coordinator of the Landlord-Tenant Dispute Mediation Centre, Ojota,

Abali, however, countered the belief, held by many people that the law has been ineffective. “The fact that some landlords devise ways around the law shows that it is having an effect, even if psychological,” he said.
“Today, there is no landlord that will issue receipt for two years’ rent, even if he collected the money because he knows the receipt is an evidence against him that could land him in jail or pay a fine of N100,000. But the problem with that aspect of the law is that both the payer and receiver are guilty and liable to the same fine,” he said.
“The law is not being realistic because there is no way a tenant can prove that he paid an excessive rent or the landlord demanded excessive rent from him except he pays; so, he can have evidence. Otherwise, if it is just an oral allegation, it will be his words against the landlord’s.”
Abali’s suggestion, whenever the law would be amended, is for a provision to be made, stating that any landlord, who knowingly lets out his apartment to two or more tenants for the available space of one, should be asked to refund the money with interest, in addition to paying a fine.
“It will become easier to enforce, because right now, when tenants fall victim of this situation, they run to the police and wait until the police detain the landlord or agent and intervene to retrieve the money. There has to be an express provision in the law covering this situation, so that any victim can go to court and seek redress once he is denied possession of a property,” he said.

Guardian Newspapers Limited appoints new editors

THE management of Guardian Newspapers Limited has announced the appointment of new editors for its titles.

In the new appointments approved by the Chairman and Publisher, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, last week, and effective from February 1, 2013, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo was named Editor of The Guardian on Sunday. He replaces Mr. Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo who voluntarily retired from the company early this year after 10 years as editor of the Sunday newspaper.

Former Chief Sub-Editor and News Editor, Mr. Julius Omokioja Eto, was named Deputy Editor of The Guardian daily. He replaces Mr. Jewell Dafinone who assumes a new position as General Editor of the newspapers. Mr. Alabi Williams, until now Assistant Political Editor, has been named Deputy Editor of The Guardian on Sunday while Mr. Taiwo Akerele, former Night Editor of The Guardian, is the new Deputy Editor, Saturday.

In the new deal, Mr. Ehichioya Ezomon is the Group Political Editor. He was until last week Acting Editor, The Guardian on Sunday. Mr. John-Abba Ogbodo of the Abuja Bureau who was promoted as Assistant Political Editor died last Thursday in a car crash.

Mr. Paul Onomuakpokpo, a former Senior Sub-Editor, is the Chief Sub-Editor while Mr. Emmanuel Nwagboniwe, also a former Senior Sub-Editor, is Deputy Chief Sub-Editor.

The newly-appointed News Editor of The Guardian is Mr. Nnamdi Inyama, who was hitherto the Assistant Metro Editor. Mr. Felix Kuye, a Senior Sub-Editor, will also be his deputy.

Former Assistant Features Editor, Nike Sotade, is the new Metro Editor.

Mr. Madu Onuorah, former Deputy Bureau Chief and a very resourceful Defence and State House Correspondent is Abuja Bureau Chief. Mr. Onuorah replaces Mr. Martins Oloja who was appointed Editor, The Guardian, in October last year when the restructuring began. Mohammed Abubakar, Senior Political and Education Correspondent, is Abuja Deputy Bureau Chief.

Mr. Oghogho Obayuwana is the Foreign Affairs Editor. Assistant Art Editor, Kabir Alabi Garba, is the Art Editor.

In the same vein, the newspaper has created three more bureaux for operational efficiency as the company begins satellite printing in Abuja soon.

Consequently, Mr. Saxone Akhaine, a veteran Senior Correspondent in Kaduna, has been promoted the Northern Bureau Chief. Similarly, Mr. Kodilinye Obiagwu, a Senior Political Correspondent, is the Eastern Bureau Chief. The

South-South Bureau Chief’s position just vacated by the new Editor of The Guardian on Sunday will be filled shortly.

Mr. Marcel Mbamalu is now the News Editor of The Guardian on Sunday and Mr. Godwin Ijediogor is his counterpart at The Guardian on Saturday.

Meanwhile, to cover Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, a complex metropolis, a new department has been created. Named as Lagos City Desk, the Deputy Editor in charge is Geofrey Okpugie who has been a veteran Correspondent of Business and Style on Sunday Desk. He will be assisted by Mr. Tope Templar who has been co-ordinating the Sunday Desk’s City File.

Mr. Mathias Okwe is Assistant Business Editor.

Abraham Ogbodo has operated in the media industry for over 20 years, reporting politics, economy, arts, environment, health, energy, education and foreign affairs.

He was born on January 1, 1963 in Ughelli, Delta State. He attended Orogun Grammar School, Orogun (1975-1980) and St. Patrick’s College, Asaba (1982-1983). He graduated with a B.A. (Hons.) in Theatre Arts from University of Calabar (1983-1987).

For the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, he was an English Language teacher at New State High School, Mushin, Lagos (October 1987-July 1988). From a Sub-Editor Trainee and Sub-Editor (August 1988-August 1990), he became a Staff Writer/AG Head, Special Features Unit (May 1992-July 1994), African Guardian magazine.

A former Head, Special Projects (Supplements Unit), The

Guardian (October 1995-June 2002), Ogbodo was Senior Correspondent (Politics) (June 2002 – July 2007) and was promoted Deputy Editor (Politics), The Guardian, in 2007. In November 1, 2012, he was promoted as the Regional Editor in charge of the South-South (South-South Bureau Chief.)

Widely travelled within and outside Nigeria and a recipient of awards, Ogbodo has served in various public capacities.

Eto was born on July 12, 1965 in Ghana but returned home after the Ankrah-Afrifa junta that ousted the Kwame Nkrumah government sent Nigerians away.

Back in Nigeria, he attended primary schools in Sapele and Isokoland as well as Government College, Ughelli and Emore Grammar School, Oleh (1977-82) and Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro (1982). He was at the University of Benin (1983-87) where he earned an Upper Class B.Sc. (Hons.) from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. He also attended the University of Lagos where he got an M.Sc. degree from the same department (1995). He had received a post-graduate diploma from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (1993). A winner of many awards, he also has a BBC London Journalism Training Certificate (2001).

For his youth service, he was a graduate lecturer at Imo (now Abia) State University (1987-88) after which he worked at The Guardian as a reporter and sub-editor. He later worked at Newbreed magazine as Assistant Editor as well as Head of Foreign Desk (The Punch) and of News (Sunday Punch), 1994-96. He was Asst. News Editor and later Chief Sub-Editor of THISDAY (1997) and Editor, The Diet (1998).

Eto returned to The Guardian in 1999 as News Editor and was, from 2007, also the Chief Sub-Editor until last week when he was elevated to the position of Deputy Editor.

Williams, who joined The Guardian in 1992 as a reporter, has a Master of Arts (Literature) degree of the University of Lagos, 1998. He has a Bachelor of Arts (English) of the same university. Before then, he was at Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi (now Federal Polytechnic), where he earned a National Diploma in the Department of Mass Communication (1984).

Dafinone (55) graduated in 1985 from the University of Benin with B.A (Hons.) French. He joined The African Guardian magazine 1986 as Production Sub-editor and rose to Production Editor. In 1995, he became Production Editor, The Guardian. In 1999, he was appointed Assistant Editor and two years later Deputy Editor, The Guardian.

Akerele was born in Lagos on October 9, 1959. He attended Yaba Methodist Primary School, Lagos (1965-1966); Alafia Institute, Mokola, Ibadan (1967 – 1969) and Eko Boys’ High School, Mushin, Lagos (1970-1974).

In 1977, he was employed by Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria (REAN), Marina, Lagos, and left in December 1979 for the College of Journalism, Fleet Street, London. He graduated in 1982 with HND in Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he returned to Nigeria in 1983, he was posted to Jos, Plateau State, where he served with the Nigerian Standard newspapers.

He joined GNL in 1987, working first with the now rested Guardian Express before he was posted to the defunct Lagos Life in 1993 as Acting Editor.

In 2005, he was made Production Editor of The Guardian on Saturday before he was appointed Night Editor of The Guardian in 2010.